What we have been allowed to see is so spectacularly vacuous, I really don't know what to say. There is also a huge lie to start with:
Four years ago, I know that many Americans felt a fresh excitement about the possibilities of a new president. That president was not the choice of our party but Americans always come together after elections. We are a good and generous people who are united by so much more than divides us.
In the middle of the worst recession since the 1930s, in his first weeks in office, the GOP monolithically voted against his stimulus, including the third of it which was tax cuts. They even opposed tax cuts because Obama proposed them! Mitch McConnell said the following out loud:
"The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president."
Americans did not come together. One party, Mitt's, set out from the get-go to destroy Obama's presidency, regardless of the impact of the recession, which they helped intensify by slashing public sector jobs across the country and blocking any new stimulus after 2010. Then this lie about the situation in early 2009:
Every small business wanted these to be their best years ever, when they could hire more, do more for those who had stuck with them through the hard times, open a new store or sponsor that Little League team. Every new college graduate thought they'd have a good job by now, a place of their own, and that they could start paying back some of their loans and build for the future. This is when our nation was supposed to start paying down the national debt and rolling back those massive deficits.
Again, this is surreal. As the country was losing jobs at a rate of what can only be called free-fall, did everyone expect a sudden immediate boom, the best years of their lives? Was that the time when we should have suddenly started cutting spending? Romney knows this line of argument is premised on a fantasy. It's as if Romney cannot address the actual reality and propose solutions, but chooses to invent an entire alternative universe in which he can invent dreams no one in February 2009 had, listening to an Inaugural Address that told them that affairs were grim and foreboding and difficult. This also makes no sense to me:
If you felt that excitement when you voted for Barack Obama, shouldn’t you feel that way now that he’s President Obama? You know there’s something wrong with the kind of job he’s done as president when the best feeling you had, was the day you voted for him.
I don't think people expect to feel as exhilarated at the end of a first term as they were at the start. I sure don't. But then I was aware we were facing the worst global economic meltdown of my and my parents' lifetimes. I think many people were aware. Romney is asking us to believe that Obama inherited Clinton's economy. He inherited Bush's – a name we have yet to hear in prime time once.
We are testing a hypothesis. Can a campaign be based on lies that are premised on a deeper invention of the past – and still win? Has Ailes successfully created a new reality? We will find out. But what is at stake is the very empirical basis of our democratic debate. Are we about to live in a post-truth world? Is the Republican belief-system about to replace reality?